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green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Patrice, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Hi gang,
    I never got algae problem in that tank and then, since last weak, I face a green hair algae problem.

    Here is the story:
    Before that algae problem, the parameter was
    No3 10 ppm
    Po4 1 ppm
    K +/- 15
    Fe 0.25
    Ph 6.5
    Light 2W/gallon

    2 weaks ago I made a mistake in Po4 dosing and I rised it to 3.5!
    I thought about doing a water change but I assumed it would be ok due to the low light.
    No algae problem the following weak.

    1 weak ago I decide to be lazy I dosed more fertilizer so I am sure I have enough and if thihgs goes well, I thought about fertilize every 2 weak.
    I also did a 30% water change that day (first in one month)

    so my parameter are now
    No3 15 ppm
    Po4 1.5 ppm
    K 30 ppm
    fe 1 ppm (maybe to mutch?)
    Ph 6.5
    light still the same at 2W/gallon

    The day after, that algae problem start. the algae grew up for a day or to and then it stabilized but look to want to stay.

    I know I have done a few change over the last weaks but I would like to know what was wrong. :confused:

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Martin

    Martin Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    how old is the tank?

    hairalgae can come from no CO2, and in a non-CO2 tank..hmm... perhaps you have too few plants?
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    When you do a water change in a non-CO2 tank you are introducing some CO2 from the tap water. That quickly drops to near zero as the plants use it, but the little surge can trigger the algae spores in the tank to start their growth cycle. So, Tom has been recommending no water changes be done in non-CO2 tanks. (That's how I remember it, anyway.)
     
  4. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    Yeah I thought my water change was in cause but no water change at all?!? :eek:
    I thought one every month or so would be the less I could do. My hardness will build up like crazy that way is n it?

    Also, if it would have been the Co2 introduce in the tank from the water change that cause that bloom, How com the algae stay over the weaks. I would assume things come back to normal with time and there is way engough plants to give that algae a bad time.


    THx
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    The problem we have with algae is the triggering process. Algae spores are probably in all of our tanks, but until something, usually chemical, happens to tell the spores to start their life cycle, they don't do any harm. Once they start growing they are good at using whatever fertilizers are in the tank. Then the problem is to remove the algae and correct whatever condition triggered the growth in the first place. Green Dust Algae is the only one I have seen anything about that will live out its life cycle and go away on its own.
     
  6. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    thx,
    I understain for Green Dust Algae but is it the same for green hair algae? if yes, I just have to remove them manualy and then, if my water back to normal, it wont grow again.

    to remove them manualy is usualy easy but they grew up in my java moss so l'll have to remove lot of moss at the same time :( .
     
  7. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    just tu follow on that, I have made a few test to see where I am after 2 weaks.
    Fe: 0 mg/l
    No3: 10 mg/l
    Po4: 0.5 mg/l

    This show me that the fish load supply more fertilizer than I thought. It could be to mutch of No3 that cause the green hair algae to live but it is said in the non-Co2 methode that excess of No3 and Po4 do not cause algae bloom.

    I think the bloom was due beacause of my last water change (2 weaks ago) but how come they do not die after that Co2 is gone? they dont grow anymore but they just stay as they are.... maybe waiting for an other water change to grow up like crazy.

    So I give to my thank enough fertilizer to put them back to:
    Fe 0.25
    No3 10 (did not add any just to see what happen the next weak)
    Po4 1
    k 30

    What do u think? I am doing something wrong in this routine?
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    If you are going to base your fertilizing on testing it is essential that you calibrate your test kits. Otherwise you have no way to know that the kits are telling you the right story. Phosphate kits have to detect an extremely small amount of phosphate and discriminate between 1 and 5 ppm, which is asking an awful lot from a cheap test kit. Nitrate kits are also notorious for showing 10 ppm no matter how low the actual amount is. So, a far better method of fertilizing is to assume you have no ferts in the water and just supply what the plants should need by dosing that much every few days, then do a big water change once a week in case you put too much in the tank. That's the EI method. The method works very well, and it does so because even if you have 3 or 4 times what the plants need in the water it doesn't cause any known problems.
     
  9. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    I understain about calibration. I had never done that so maybe my test kit are wrong. But any way, I know for sure what I add in the tank. I only use test kit so see what's left after 2 weaks. I'll stop doing those test once I'll know the rite routine.
    For water change, i'me a little confused cause some say no water change at all, some say once every few weak and other say once a weak. When I was on Co2 tank, I was doing weakly 50% water change and things were ok. Now, with non-Co2, I thought I had to do only one small change every month and It would be ok. hummmm... what to do?

    now lets talk again about that dosing. lets just imagine I had never done any test after 2 weaks periode and I just add fertilizer like showing on my messages. Should I consider that algae bloom like a accumulation of one of N, P, K or trace? up to what point this is not a problem to build excess of elements in a non-co2 tank?


    thx
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    Yes, for a non CO2 tank, no water changes.

    For all the banter about Tom Barr saying large water changes and many being highly critical of me about that and carrying on and on about that, ironically no one questions Amano who does the exact same water change routine.
    So do/did the Dutch for 60 years at least.

    But back to non CO2.
    No water changes, only add enough for a top off for evaporation loss. I use tap for that. Plants will remove the KH(no CO2, so the weeds go after the bacarb) and GH(both nutrients) in a non CO2 tank, so if anything, the water will be very soft after a few weeks=> not harder.

    Hair algae should dissappear on it's own and some manual harassment/removal.

    Some Shrimp, Rosey barbs, Flagfish, SAE's should easily control anything that's left.

    I think it'll go away fine with the herbivores but addign them will reduce the chance more than in a CO2 enriched tank, algae grows slower in a non CO2 tank, so each algae eating critter has more impact.

    Look, I'm suggesting you do less work and it'll make the tank look better, plants will grow better and the algae will go away.
    I know it sounds counter intuitive, but it works well.

    Plants can adapt to low CO2 non CO2 tanks, or high CO2, bobbing in between = lots of algae.

    Why?

    Environmental change. Algae eariler colonizers, Plants are very late colonizers in aquatic systems.

    Clear and plow a field, wait. What grows first?
    Fast agressive weeds. Then shrubs and finally some trees work their way in, a few hundred years, a nice forest has developed. That might help put in it better context.

    If you want an instant forest, you pack the field with trees and remove any weeds to see.

    In stable systems, the plants will dominate given that they have enough light and good substrate and or good water column nutrients.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    thx Tom,
    so that water change was probably the reason why I got that bloom.

    I also realize that the fish load give way more than I thoucht so I can put less N and P. I dont know for K+ but beacause I is not a problem to build high K+ level, I'll keep adding some every 2 weak and trace. maybe 30 mg/l of K every 2 weak is to mutch?

    I'll se what happen over the next weak. Green Hair Algae should go away.

    Ho yeah, by the way, try to avoid Silver dollard fish in non Co2 tank. I thought they'll be good fish for that 50g tank but they eat to mutch! I'me lucky cause I have enough plants so they grow enough to support it but thing could change when those 4 fish will be adult.
     
  12. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    I did put back fertilizer in the tank thursday and I notice that the green hair algae had grow over the last 2 days. [​IMG]

    I thought without water change it would be good but It did not change mutch. maybe it would have been worst with water change?

    Now I'me thinking about the reason Why (with a big W).

    -Maybe I should not add any N-P-K to that tank? but what about the fact that exces of N-P and Fe do not cause algae bloom in non-Co2 tank with low light?

    -Maybe I get some NH4 from the substrat? (1" peat moss that have been cooked for 20min, 1" of sand and 1" of small gravel).

    -Maybe I should clean that tank a little more? I did not clean realy mutch that one since I do not do water change.
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    One inch of peat moss is way, way too much of the wrong thing! That is most likely the source of your problems. Peat should be ground peat, in a very thin layer, one you can see through, at the bottom of the tank. Peat moss is not the same as ground peat. Peat moss is for mulch on terrestrial plants.
     
  14. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    hummm... maybe this is my problem. If I have way way to mutch, i'am happy that my algae problem is that little.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    Clean tank well, no water change.

    You likely do not need any nutrients for a week.

    The algae will go away slowly, pick at it, and add a few algae eaters, SAE's, Rosy barbs, flagfish etc.

    Stop those water changes.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: green hair algae in non-CO2 tank

    thx I'll try that and let you know what happen.
     
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